White Elephant

 

A world of big men in big suits sitting on big thrones.

Who are these behemoths, and how do they dominate so successfully the faceless figures that serve them?

White Elephant collides three dancers and three actors in a ‘bastardised’ commedia/ clown/ mask performance.

Three bloated oligarchs enter a new world and set about making it their own. A chorus of masked Zanni (the servants) attend to and perform for them. The use of art by the Zanni to communicate injustice prompts an examination of the relationship between art and power. The show investigates the fears and fascinations of the wealthy elite, and by proxy the middle class that keeps them in power.

Like I’d just witnessed something extraordinary, deeply satisfying, impossible to explain, delightfully non-linear, breakdown of some hierarchy/order/boundary, washed through by the sea of voices before it resolves, profound ending that blows the top off the whole thing.
— Audience member, work in development showing July 2013

Cast:

Melanie Hamilton

Thomas Eason

Madeline McNamara 

 

Natano Keni

Anya Tate-Manning 

Luke Hanna

Collaborators:

Sam Trubridge (design), Sophie Dowson (production management), Roseann McKie (production/design assistance), Owen McCarthy (video), Eden Mulholland (sound design), Show Pony (production).

Contributors:

Penny Fitt (design), Celery Productions (design), Natasha James (lighting design), Ross McCormack (performer), Paul Young (performer), Danielle Lindsay (production assistance),  Aidan Weekes (dramaturgy).

Production History:

White Elephant has had two CNZ funded development workshops in 2012 and 2013.  Each of these resulted in a showing to a small audience, followed by feedback.  The show premiered at the Hannah Playhouse, Wellington in November 2014.